The Battle of the Bagel

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I chopped off my finger.

Well, ok, I didn’t quite chop it off though at the time it certainly felt like it. I did slice it up pretty good though and deep enough that should probably have stitches, but having just enough frugal Mainer in my bloodstream I couldn’t bring myself to go into the walk-in-clinic with its $50 co-pay or heaven forbid the $100 co-pay they milk you for at the Emergency Room just to have someone stick some skin glue on and send me home.

So, there I was, swearing profusely as I dripped bright red blood onto the kitchen cupboard, the floor, my shirt, the cat and my unsuccessfully cut Asiago bagel from Panera. Yeah, I know, I should have gotten it pre-sliced, but it tends to dry out if you do that and don’t eat it right away, so there is that.

My first instinct was to rinse it off under the faucet (my finger, not the bagel). Wrong move, that just made it bleed more freely and now there was blood all over the kitchen sink and not a few of the dishes drying in the drainer.

I kid you not with this bleeding thing. I never knew that a finger had so much blood in its tip! What does the body do, store extra blood in the extremities or something? Is this what the old stories meant when they told someone to sign in blood? Except that it wouldn’t do too well for precision penmanship, more like “blot marks the spot.”

I finally got my wits in some semblance of order and wrapped the dripping digit tight in paper towel, which of course immediately soaked through, which surprised me. This was Viva, the cloth version not that “multi surface” variety they keep putting on sale in the hopes that it will sell.

Viva is amazing, my daughter did a science project years ago determining which paper towel was the strongest. The project involved like eight kinds of paper towels (both wet and dry) and a number of DD batteries dropped onto the towels from a distance of like three feet. I don’t remember if she won any awards for her project but it did convince me that Viva was where it was at, strength wise, and I’ve used it ever since, even though it costs more than the average household paper towel. It also soaks up fluid like a son-of-a-gun, so seeing the blood soak through almost immediately almost sent me into a panic. Just how much blood was losing, anyway?

So, I wrapped it again in a double dose of fresh paper towels and sat on the kitchen chair for a full twenty minutes glaring at the crimson splashes all over the floors and cupboards and (so sorry dude!) the cat. What a mess! I also glared at my phone, which I can work one handed when it comes to scrolling, but have not been able to figure out how to text one-handed yet. Even the damned phone had crimson streaks across the screen. I swear, the props set for a Stephen King horror story couldn’t have done a better job in creating a more realistic “crazy person goes on a hacking spree” movie set. Well, maybe a Stephen King would have contained more body parts, or at least a few credible monsters. Come to think of it, with the blood in his whiskers the cat could definitely have passed himself off as a blood drinking monster of some sort. When two more swatches of paper towel remained blood-free I finally took myself into the bathroom to assess the damage.

Yep, it was a nasty cut. It started at the outside edge of my finger and had sliced straight down to the fingernail. In fact, it was most likely the fingernail that kept it from actually slicing the entire tip off my finger altogether. Poking at it a bit I could see that it had a nice flap that opens up to…no, I don’t want to look too deep. Seeing inside of my own skin gives me the creeps. I mean, I’ve always known that there is stuff inside of the skin, but any time that the skin barrier is breached and the insides start poking out, I am so done. On the bright side, my fingernails must be pretty tough. That was a sharp knife from a new set we just bought a month ago. Now I can revel in feeling justified in believing that fingernails are good for more than painting red and sharpening into pseudo claws for spontaneous cat fights in office coffee break rooms.

A goodly splash of hydrogen peroxide caused Mt. Vesuvius to explode, bubble and froth from my finger (cue more Viva) and then a healthy smear of antibiotic ointment and two Band-Aids overlapping to keep everything together. The first pair bled through in about five minutes. But after that, things slowed down. Finally. I must say, I must have a goodly dose of blood in me, because in spite of the splashes and droplets everywhere I didn’t feel in the least woozy.

Of course, getting the kitchen cleaned up was a chore unto itself. I won’t even begin to discuss the issues with getting the blood off of the cat’s head and back. I did catch him licking it out of his whiskers with seeming relish, so now I’ll have to keep one eye open when I sleep to make sure that he doesn’t become a maneater now that he’s tasted human blood. Maybe that only applies to big cats in the wild, but I’m taking no chances.

I’m also taking no chances in cutting a bagel with just my hands and a knife anymore. I’m picking up a bagel slicer today. And more Viva, because I’m pretty sure I used up most of a roll.

In case you were waiting for a moral for this incident. Sorry to disappoint, for there isn’t one, unless it is to keep your wits about you when attempting to slice round objects with sharp pointy things. Or invest in a bagel slicer. Or maybe just avoid the little devils altogether or have the cashier at Panera slice them up for you.

Anyway, thanks for listening to this random note from the life of JustSteph, watch out for random bagels, sharp knives, blood-thirsty cats, and enjoy your weekend if you can!